My husband recently told one of his co-workers that we are paying off our home by paying an extra $400 toward our monthly mortgage.
His friend, who is about eight or nine years older than the two of us, said that for $400 a month, he could fly to California once a month to hang out with friends. He told my husband to be careful with his money and to make sure that saving money and paying off our mortgage every month did not come at the risk of leading a less enjoyable life.
I must admit that my life looks monotonous and boring compared to my friends. Most of my friends have traveled around the US, many to multiple foreign countries. They buy newer cars and spend money on a host of personal assistants like housekeepers, dog walkers, and personal trainers.
They eat dinner at fancy restaurants at least a couple of times weekly. They buy new clothes and shoes more often than my husband, and I do. But do they lead more enjoyable lives?
Compared to my friends, my husband and I rarely buy new clothes, and we clean our house and exercise without the assistance of personal trainers. We eat out maybe once every two to three months, and we both drive old cars.
But do we lead less enjoyable lives? I don’t think so.
We enjoy cooking dinner together and feel that a car is just a vehicle to get from point A to point B. So eating out and buying fancier vehicles would not provide us more enjoyable.
Although I once had an overwhelming desire to travel the globe, that fantasy has subsided. There are still a few places I’d love to visit, but I wouldn’t be devastated if I never got there.
A good friend mentioned last week that she would postpone having a child so she could visit Africa next year. She’s afraid if she waits for a baby, she’ll never have the money to go. She chuckled when I mentioned that she could always go after her future children are grown.
Which got me wondering, am I leading a less enjoyable life than I could be? Am I leading a happy, or am I leading a happy, thrifty life now in the hopes of leading a much more satisfying life in the future?
Saving money today towards our goals while enjoying the little things in life will provide us with the flexibility and time freedom to live life any way we choose in the future.
Of course, my husband and I probably won’t lead our lives much differently when the time comes. We may travel more often, but we’ll still be cooking dinner in our kitchen.